Saturday, September 15, 2012

Photo-Heavy Vacation Recap!

This year we had our first ever family vacation!

Every year we try to make it back to Wisconsin to visit family at least once, but it's getting so expensive and the Bubba has been working so crazy much we decided this year that an actual honest-to-goodness family vacation was in order instead.  I suggested Hawaii for two weeks without the children.  We ended up in San Diego with the wee ones, and it couldn't have been better.

We stayed in a one bedroom condo on Mission Beach that we found on VRBO that was equipped with a click-clack type futon, a pack-n-play and beach toys. We bought food to grill, we enjoyed the beach view from the deck, the kids slept well. It was perfect.

Stuff we did:

We basically went straight from the airport to the beach with a quick change at  the condo.

As my Bubba was playing with the kids, digging and running from the waves, I was thinking "Weird... when is the last time I watched my husband play with our kids?" THAT is the kind of work schedule he's had.  The kind where he might not see the kids for a couple days at a time.  Or he goes to work at 5am and gets home in time to kiss the kids goodnight at 7.  Every day of the week.  Oooooh, we so needed this time together.  Any spare moment we weren't up to something else, we were at the beach.


I got to visit with Shelby!  The internets have introduced me to the nicest friends.

We met at the first Blathering in 2009


We spent two days at SeaWorld mostly because Lucy got overwhelmed the first day and couldn't stay longer than a couple of hours.  I realized something important about Lucy's personality on this trip.  I mean, I've *known* that she gets crazy overwhelmed sometimes, but when we were doing so much go-go-go on this trip and experiencing new things, I realized that she needs frequent short breaks to assimilate stuff going on.  It ended up being about every 2 hours that she needed a quiet spot, no one talking to her, nothing to do or look at, and a drink or a snack.  Just 10 minutes or so of mental rest, and then she was back to loving exploring, but until she got a little break from the action she was just miserable.
Lucy took this pic

Seeing Shamu


Man, the zoo is something else.  We concentrated on just seeing the animals that are not at Seattle's zoo and we were still there for 7+ hours.  We loved the aviaries.  And the Skyfari.  And everything else about the zoo.  Really awesome.

Lucy always had her camera at the ready


Just north of San Diego the zoo has a safari park with animals in huge natural habitats instead of small cages which was also really cool.

Of course, the highlight for Lucy was the carousel!
Feeding Lorikeets
Lucy also got to feed the Lorikeets. They loved her!  After a minute, she was all, "I'm done!" so I took the little cup of nectar that they eat.  Well.  Let me tell you that my four year old is twice as brave as I was and those Lorikeets are creepy ass creatures with their pokey dinosaur feet and thick grey tongues sticking out.  It was awful.  My Bubba can't think about it without laughing hysterically and saying again and again "I wish we had gotten a picture of YOU and the birds!"

Look at her! SMILING ABOUT IT. Ugh.


This Navy aircraft carrier turned museum was awesome.  They had all kinds of different planes on display, some of which we could crawl in the cockpit and pretend to fly!  Totally cool.  Johnny was in the Ergo on my back and he kept yelling "BLUE! WHITE! AIRPLANE! TOUCH IT!" The whole time we wandered around.  He just wanted to push every. button. ever.


One of the docents, a retired navy pilot himself, suggested that Johnny would be a flyboy.  I joked that I'd rather he go to college in his hometown and settle into a nice, safe CPA career.  Said the docent, "Spoken like a mother."

After my miscarriage, I feel like my hormones were not quite regulated yet, and weird things were emotional for me.  Like Shamu.  During the One World show I just blubbered through the whole thing, "What an amazing creature, and how many hours went into the training and how can something like that even EXIST and we have such a CREATIVE Creator!"  Or the  Chinese acrobat show at the Zoo.  It was a group of about ten acrobats, all under 20 I'd say, that did such amazing things!  There was a sitting-on-a-unicycle-throwing-bowls-with-his-foot-catching-it-on-his-head guy and foot juggling girl and some other just jaw dropping things.  And again the whole way through I'm blinking tears thinking "These kids have worked so HARD! Look at the amazing thing they've accomplished! Their parents must be SO PROUD."  Or the USS Midway, I walked in and was overcome by the people who died flying planes off aircraft carriers like this.  What a basket case!!  Even moments after, of course, I thought my reaction was funny, but man, hormones are crazy-making things, aren't they?  My poor Bewildered Bubba of the Perpetual Back-Patting.  HA!

On the whole, the trip was just lovely.  We packed every day with fun and fell into bed exhausted at the end of it.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat.


Erica said...

I also cry at random animal shows. But only since I've had a kid. It's so weird. I even cried once just watching a nature movie about whales at the aquarium. It was kind of embarrassing.

Lisa said...

Oh, everyone needs a trip like that once in awhile. It's hard to find something that is relaxing and fun for kids AND parents, but it looks like you struck a good balance. Great photos!